We were finishing a meal in Chengdu with our guide and driver. Selected by our guide, the food was delicious, and there was so much food that we couldn’t finish it. We asked the guide if he wanted to take the leftovers home, but he declined. People in China don’t take leftovers home, he said, since people who do this would look poor. Instead, leftovers are fed to the pigs. Oh-h-h.
In contrast, part of the ritual of a Chinese meal in the States is to box up the leftovers/plannedovers and decide who takes home which dishes. It’s an informal, cooperative process that always works out. There’s no stigma attached with taking leftovers home.
For some reason, pork in China is more tasty than the pork in the States.
We shared a meal with our guide in Yangshuo. The meal was also delicious and plentiful, and several pieces of meat were left at the end of the meal. We served the meat to the guide. She ate it, saying quietly that at home she holds back until her children have finished eating.